The Millennial Whisperer

The “Millennial Whisperer” is a term coined by Luke Smaul, business leader and advisor of tied.house, Inc. While the context for coining the term was meant to cheekily label himself amongst his peers, the coinage applies to anyone possessing the ability to belong to an earlier generation while connecting with millennials. And, not just in a demanding way but in a way that converts them into believers.

I am not a millennial. Born in 1984, I was raised believing I was Generation-Y. Maybe I’m a Generation-Y, Millennial?

Sometime around 1994, PepsiCo. challenged the idea of generations with a campaign for “Generation Next.” I recall this causing some confusion amongst my pre-pubescent cohorts. Were we Generation Next?

My marketing textbooks in college (around 2004) labeled us as something else entirely. It wasn’t until well after the recovery of the .COM collapse that I first heard the term Millennial.

In truth, we are the elder millennials that don’t quite feel like we fit in with the younger millennials. Sure, we are quasi-digital natives who want to find purpose in our work.  We understand the younger millennial mindset, but It’s really not that hard to grasp. Any generation is defined by the environmental implications attributing to their group-mind. Some people possess the ability to belong to an earlier generation while also connecting with other generations.

Being labeled a millennial affords us a luxury when working with the earlier generations. We are provided with an element for surprise: “He looks like a millennial, but he doesn’t talk like a millennial. He must be 40 (Generation X).” We elders, the Generation-Y Millennials, are Generation Next. We sit on the millennial cusp minding the gap that separates our generations.

Mind the Gap and find Satori, my fellow Salesman.

Keys to Marketing Every Entrepreneur Should Know

The Secret Keys to Marketing in 2018

  1. Don’t confuse Marketing with Operations.

Supply and demand are represented in the physical business model as Operations and the customer – Where Operations is the supply and demand is the customer. Marketing transcends operations and the customer to ensure supply meets demand. Allowing operations to dictate marketing is a common mistake that we have termed “The Entrepreneurial Dilemma.”

 

2. Marketing is a verb.

Marketing is both a science and an art. Marketing’s purpose is to position, manage, and innovate to ensure the demanding customers are pointed to your supply and that supply meets demand. It is marketing’s job to optimize this point of equilibrium.

 

3. The customer matters most.

Companies exist to serve their customers. Their purpose is to provide society, defined as a market, with a good or service that provides a benefit to individual lives. Profit is a measurement for how well a company met the demand of the market it serves. Own your purpose and adapt to the needs of the customer.

 

4. Data Rules the World. Digital mediums provide accountability.

Marketing and Operations have both hidden under the guise of revenue relativity. Where revenue is accepted as the metric for success rather than a final metric in a succession of mission-critical metrics. The tech community has made it possible for us to evaluate KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in real-time. A flexible organization, equipped with the right processes, can literally make adjustments on the fly to influence these KPIs. All KPIs, therefore, should point to the final metric of success: PROFIT.

 

5. “Content is king and Context is God.” – Gary Vee

Is this re-affirming key principle number 2? Yes. But it’s speaking more to the positioning of messaging in the act of marketing. There aren’t many organizations that have bested the marketing of religions. In Christian religions, the bible is the medium, the content is Jesus (king) and his teachings, the context is the Logos necessary for reaching the worshiper. When approaching marketing it is your duty to act like the god of your audiences.

 

6. Convincing isn’t Sales. Matchmaking is Sales.

Sales 101 tells us that the key to sales is providing a solution – just as we discussed in key principle number 3. Positioning a brand to excite demand and increase revenue is not a matter of convincing non-believers. It’s a matter of finding more believers and strengthening the faith in your product. Therefore, sales are directly dependent on the proportion of the market whose values align with the values of your offering. When metrics are not optimal (defined in proportion to the market) the company must evaluate both its exposure and resonance within the marketplace.

7. Success = Understanding + Execution

Successful marketing management, especially social media management, requires a deep understanding and execution of the 6 key principles outlined here. The 7th key is to adopt keys 1-6 and integrate them into your core set of beliefs and methods.

 

I can’t stress enough how vital these keys are to your organization and its ability to succeed. If you don’t think you can attain this level of marketing prowess, do not fret. That is actually a good thing. You’re right. As Plato said, “Man was not made for himself alone.” You might be too busy to do it alone and if you really want to build a meaningful company (Link to come) it’s absurd to think you can do it alone. Doing it alone is for the self-employed – Building a team is for the business owner.

If you’re ready to hire someone to be your marketing manager, here’s a guide to doing just that (link to come).

Find Satori, my fellow Salesman.

 

Busy is the New Lazy.

Are You Too Busy for Business?

Busy work is a perception. For many of the entrepreneurs I meet, this concept of being busy is posed with negative discourse. There seems to be a correlation between an individual’s self-assessment of the work performed and the actual result in productivity. Within that correlation, the output is dependent on the entrepreneur’s priorities. The most productive people I know would never think that the concept of being busy constitutes as an acceptable excuse for limiting performance.

There are a number of effective methods and tools for increasing productivity. So many so there are blogs dedicated solely to the subject. Yet with all this information floating around for the taking, many entrepreneurs struggle to grasp the one fundamental truth that must be surpassed. If you’re wondering if you’ve learned this truth or not – maybe you need to hear this message as well:

You’re the Problem.

Once you can look in the mirror and say, “I’m the problem,” you are ready to begin your journey toward success.